Rob Schwarzwalder: Final Observations About the Kavanaugh Crisis

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October 5, 2018
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October 6, 2018

By Rob Schwarzwalder, a Senior Contributor, The Stream, October 5, 2018

Rob SchwarzwalderThursday night, I watched Democratic Senator Richard Blumenthal being interviewed on MSNBC. With the sound off. This was not out of disrespect. I was in the gym and his was but one of many faces on the array of screens there. But I found looking at him riveting.

Why? Because he seemed to be a man full of both rage and despair. His expression was grim. His eyes intense and angry. Of course, he was talking about Brett Kavanaugh and the new FBI report. His appearance said it all. Kavanaugh likely will be confirmed. And the left is panicked beyond anything previously imagined.

But first, a quick word to my conservative friends upset that the left is moving the goalposts: Of course they are! They did not want an objective report on Kavanaugh. They would not be satisfied unless one of two things were shown: (A) That the FBI report showed Kavanaugh to be a drunken gang-rapist. That would kill the nomination. Or (B) that more people came forward to cast doubt upon the judge. That would keep the fishing going on and on, preventing him from ever being confirmed.

Here are some concluding thoughts about this whole sorry process as the final vote is upon us.

We are at the border of anarchy.

Liberals are nearly hysterical. Watching Senator Kamala Harris at an anti-Kavanaugh rally was  chilling. She was not addressing a crowd. She was stirring up a mob.

Margaret Thatcher remarked once that the veneer of civilization is very thin. That veneer seems to be cracking. It is one thing for people to disagree strongly. All citizens have a right to protest their government’s policies, to express grievances, and march and write and hold banners and so on.

But the Founders of our country were very clear they were for “ordered liberty.” In other words, freedom without chaos, protest without violence, dissent without public endangerment. As Russell Kirk put it in his book, The American Cause: “The founders of the American Republic, equally detesting tyranny and anarchy, determined to establish an enduring political constitution that would recognize the claims of justice, order, and freedom, and that would allow no excessive demands upon the part of any one of these three principles.”

The social harmony those principles offer is in jeopardy. When angry mobs keep people from getting into their cars, when raging marchers smash restaurant windows, that is not protest. That is anarchy and violence that will quickly lead to more anarchy and worse violence. And some Democratic leaders are, intentionally or not, inciting it.

The FBI investigation: There’s No “There” There

The FBI investigation found no evidence for Dr. Christine Blasey Ford’s accusations, or those of the other women claiming Kavanaugh was, at best, a sexual predator. His opponents are upset because, the FBI didn’t talk to dozens of dozens of peoplewho might have said something about him.

So what? Evidently some of the finest detective interviewers in the country did not find a need to do this. And if everyone with any input were interviewed, the Kavanaugh trauma might not end for years. The longer you fish and the more lines you put in, the more nibbles you’ll get. That’s what the Democrats hope for. But Brett Kavanaugh is a human being. He and his family deserve better. The Republic deserves better.

Did the FBI miss some people or fail to ask some needed questions? Possibly. But these people are good. I’ve personally been asked tough questions in a very tough way by FBI agents. When they want to know certain things about friends or colleagues in federal service, people wearing the FBI badge don’t care if they are sensitive, liked, or even respectful. They get to whatever bottom there is of the things they need to know. Period.

The Media Are Astonished That Conservatives Still Exist

The media are also beside themselves. I don’t really need to cite examples. Other than Fox News (which sometimes veers too far in the other direction), the mainstream television news outlets might throw a bone to fairness once in a while. They might put a conservative on a panel, for example. But mostly, they are appalled that decent people could support the Kavanaugh nomination.

They are equally shocked, as shown in a new NPR/Marist poll, that “the wide Democratic enthusiasm advantage that has defined the 2018 campaign up to this point has disappeared.” The vaunted “blue wave” is now tapering into the gentle lapping of the shore at low tide.

In other words, conservatives remain potent in the American electorate. And — shock! — many are women. Women who themselves might have experienced sexual abuse, but who actually disagree that Brett Kavanaugh is guilty of it. Women who see how that charge has been used by people determined to get their way politically.

The liberal-dominated TV talking class is upset. Independent-minded people can conclude other than what they are told by their betters at the national news desks of America. Who knew? Oh, well.

People with politically and socially liberal beliefs are image-bearers of God. They deserve love, a listening ear and respect. But the leaders of the Democratic left endanger our country. Their actions cannot be ignored. Nor should their need for prayer.


Rob Schwarzwalder is a Senior Contributor at The Stream and a Senior Lecturer at Regent University. Raised in Washington State, he lived with his family in the suburban D.C. area for nearly 25 years until coming to Regent in the summer of 2016. Rob was Senior Vice-President at the Family Research Council for more than seven years, and previously served as chief-of-staff to two Members of Congress. He was also a communications and media aide to a U.S. Senator and senior speechwriter for the Hon. Tommy Thompson, Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. For several years, he was Director of Communications at the National Association of Manufacturers. While on Capitol Hill, he served on the staffs of members of both Senate and House Armed Services Committees and the Senate Committee with oversight of federal healthcare policy.

Rob is focused on the intersection of theology, culture and politics. His background in public policy has been informed by his service on Capitol Hill, the private sector and various Christian ministries. His op-eds have been published in numerous national publications, ranging from TIME and U.S. News and World Report to Christianity Today, The Federalist and The Public Discourse, as well as scores of newspapers and opinion journals. He has been interviewed on National Public Radio, Fox News, and other leading television and radio programs. Rob’s scholarly publications include studies of such issues as fatherlessness, pornography, federal economic policy and national security.

Rob has done graduate work at George Washington University and holds an M.A. in theology from Western Seminary (Portland, Ore.) and an undergraduate degree from Biola University. He and his wife of 35 years, Valerie, make their home in Virginia Beach and have three children.